Helen and Allan Cruickshank Sanctuary

Helen and Allan Cruickshank Sanctuary

Rockledge, Florida 32955, United States

Created By: Environmentally Endangered Lands Program

Tour Information

Welcome to the Helen G. and Allan D. Cruikshank Sanctuary. The sanctuary protects important Florida habitats and is home to many species, including the Florida Scrub-jay and the Gopher Tortoise. Some species are endemic to Florida, meaning they exist nowhere else on Earth. The walking tour is 0.9 miles long.

Tour Map

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What You'll See on the Tour

The land for the sanctuary was purchased in 1995 through the Environmentally Endangered Lands (EEL) Program. The sanctuary is named after two celebrated conservationists, Helen G. and Allan D. Cruickshank. Helen was an award-winning nature ... Read more
This hand-built bridge was generously donated as an Eagle Scout project. It crosses a small freshwater marsh that attracts many water-loving species, including wading birds, small lizards, and frogs. One of the most frequently seen herons... Read more
Yellow Milkwort (Polygala rugelii) is found wherever the soil is a little wet in the sanctuary. This Florida endemic prefers to grow in wetter pine flatwoods. Look for shaggy, pinecone-shaped flowers growing on stalks between 1-3' (30 - 90... Read more
Shiny blueberry (Vaccinium myrsinites) is a common ground shrub native only to Florida, Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina. It is often found in scrub and flatwood plant communities, especially when pines are present. Regular fires help ... Read more
Florida Pennyroyal (Piloblephis rigida) is a Florida native in the mint family. You'll find it in drier upland communities, such as scrublands and flatwoods. Pennyroyal grows to about 1' (30 cm) tall and produces clusters of fragrant laven... Read more
Chalky Bluestem (Andropogon virginicus var. glaucus) is another native you will find here. This fast-growing grass has attractive bluish-white leaves and can rapidly reach 2-5' (60-150 cm) in height. It is part of the understory in a wide... Read more
You have just walked along an area of Florida Scrub and are about to enter Pine Flatwoods. Keep an eye out for friendly blue and gray birds, as there are multiple families of Florida Scrub-Jays (Aphelocoma coerulescens) here at the Sanctu... Read more
Pine Flatwoods is a habitat dominated by lower-growing shrubs and palmettos, especially Saw Palmetto (Serenoa repens). There are Slash Pines (Pinus elliotti) overhead, but they are too far apart to form a canopy. Regular fire intervals ke... Read more
Pine Flatwoods and Florida Scrub are both fire-dependent ecosystems, meaning their health is directly tied to how frequently they are allowed to burn. Fire is important for certain plants' growth cycles, as some species will only flower ... Read more
There are a large number of shrubs growing in the understory of the Sanctuary. In this area, you will see a lot of Winged Sumac (Rhus copallinum) and Rusty Lyonia (Lyonia ferruginea). Both commonly grow about 10 feet tall or more.  Win... Read more
Saw Palmettos (Serenoa repens) are smaller palms, usually no more than 10-15 feet (3-4.5 m) tall. They are named for the prickly saw-like edges of their leaf stems. There are two color variations: most have green or yellowish-green fronds, ... Read more
This raised platform lets you look out over a section of Florida Scrub. Scrub is such a special habitat that many species living in the Sanctuary are not found anywhere else in the world. The plants you can see are growing atop an ancient... Read more
The road you're walking on has more than one purpose. In addition to providing maintenance vehicles access to the Sanctuary, roads like these serve as "fire lines" or "fire breaks" during prescribed burns. The three components needed to su... Read more
This is the end of the guided tour, but there is plenty left to explore in the Sanctuary. The fire line to your left leads into more scrub habitat. Watch and listen for other common birds such as Eastern Towhee, Swallow-tailed Kite, Bla... Read more


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